SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – After their 24-13 loss to the Raiders Sunday, the 49ers playoff hopes are slim with three games to play.

As they prepare for Sunday’s game in Seattle, San Francisco is two games behind the Seahawks and three behind the Arizona Cardinals in the NFC West.

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“I think Seattle right now is probably playing the best in the NFC, and I would think right next to them would be the Green Bay Packers,” John Madden told the KCBS Radio morning crew.

And the division-leading Cardinals, who beat the Chiefs Sunday?

“Either team could have that won that one, and Arizona got it,” Madden said. “They just keep plugging along. You wait for the wheels to fall off. I have a hard time believing that the Arizona Cardinals are one of the best teams in the NFC. And the wheels don’t fall off.”

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The NFC South is still up for grabs among three teams with losing records: the New Orleans Saints, Atlanta Falcons and Carolina Panthers. The Saints lost to the Panthers 41-10 Sunday.

“You keep thinking that (Saints quarterback) Drew Brees, (coach) Sean Payton, you know that whole thing, that they’ll come back and turn this thing around. But they haven’t.” (6:55)

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(Listen to the John Madden segment live weekday mornings at 8:15 and Monday and Friday mornings at 9:15 on KCBS All News 740 AM/106.9 FM.)